Will Onions Decide the Fate of the Next Government in Maharashtra?
Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim
Asia’s largest onion wholesale market ‘Lasalgaon mandi’ faces crisis after the government on 29 September banned the export of onion to increase its availability in the domestic market and contain rising prices.
Madhukar Bagh, an onion farmer, said, “The Modi government has stopped onion export in the mandi. Onion prices have gone down. It is becoming unaffordable and so we are protesting.”
“We have been facing problems with this government since the last 5 years. Loans have not been waived. It’s all a lie.”Madhukar Bagh, Onion farmer
The sudden decision to ban onion exports is affecting the traders, said Sudam Bhikde, an onion trader, adding that the government should have informed the traders at least a week earlier.
Another trader, Hiraman Pardeshi said that the government had to take the decision considering everybody and not just businesses. “They are right on their part. Their decision came abruptly. Had they given us some relief, farmers and traders would not have been affected,” he added.
Farmers have boycotted the onion auction at Lasalgaon mandi to protest against the curbs imposed. The prices of onions have been on the rise since August and reached its highest this year.
The government is trying to control the spiralling prices, triggered by shortage of supply.
Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said, “We got this suggestion a long time back. We noticed that the onion prices are just not going down. Farmers are not getting affected. The people who hoard are the ones who are suffering. The government doesn’t care about them.”
Swabhimani Kisan Sagathan member, Sandeep Jagtap feels that the election will be fought on this issue.
“I feel this election will be fought on problems faced by farmers and youth. I think the government has failed us on both these issues and so the government will fall.”
Will onions decide the fate of the next government in Maharashtra?